The state of Maryland announced a record investment in Maryland arts organizations through the state’s Arts Relief initiative. Through $40 million in supplemental funding added to the Maryland State Arts Council’s annual appropriation of $28.9 million in fiscal 2023, it will allow state arts organizations to better cope with continuing financial impacts of the pandemic.

The infusion will help spur arts projects and employment in all 24 Maryland jurisdictions and has elevated Maryland to second in the nation in per capita spending on the arts in fiscal 2023.

The MSAC is an agency of the State of Maryland Department of Commerce Division of Tourism, Film and the Arts. It awards grants to tax-exempt organizations and individual artists, in addition to providing technical assistance to individuals and groups. The initiative provides operating and project funding for organizations and artists, with many grants assisting with debt relief, long-term investments, and artists’ living expenses.

In addition to growing that Maryland State Arts Council’s budget by 138%, Arts Relief funding led to the following increases:
● 282% more operating grants
● 209% more grants to artists
● 164% more grants to organizations
● 55% more project grants

Arts Relief funding decisions were made with the oversight of a 17-member council comprising Maryland citizens and legislators that advises the work of the MSAC staff. With the addition of the Arts Relief initiative, MSAC administered a total of 2,500 grants in fiscal 2023, more than three times its usual volume. A detailed overview of the funding is available at